The signs of Mt 24:4-12 foretell the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 AD, not the second coming or the end of the world.

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The Titus Arch in Rome that celebrates the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD by Titus as Matthew 24 prophesied.

The signs of Matthew 24 prophecies the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD not the second coming and certainly not some "Rapture" theology that was invented in 1830 AD by John Darby. When Christians saw the signs, they fled the city and were saved.


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The signs of Mt 24:4-12 foretell the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 AD, not the second coming or the end of the world.

Introduction to Matthew 24:4-12

1.      The Text: "And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. "But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. " (Matthew 24:4-12)

2.      The signs like war, earthquakes, famines, false Christs, persecution and betrayal were given to warn the first century Christians when to flee Jerusalem in 70 AD and have nothing to do with the second coming, the end of the world, and much less the rapture which was invented in 1830 AD by John Darby.

3.      The first century Christians used these signs as a trigger when they should be ready to flee the city of Jerusalem when the Roman armies surrounded the city in 70 AD.

4.      Premillennialists invented the Rapture doctrine in 1830 AD,  then ignore the fact that these signs, in their context, have nothing to do with the second coming.

5.      To suggest that these signs apply both to the destruction of the temple in 70 AD and the second coming is nothing short of wild speculation without a shred of Biblical evidence.

6.      Jesus said there would be no signs of the second coming and that no man knows the hour.

I. Be Not Misled- "I Am He" "False Christ's"

A. "Long to see one of the days":

  1. desire to see Jesus personally as they had for 3 years solid
  2. Jesus said the disciples would not see Him personally: Lk 17:22
  3. The destruction of Jerusalem would happen 40 years after Jesus ascended back to heaven.

B. Josephus, the Jewish Historian Said:

  1. "The land was over run with magicians, seducers, and imposters, who drew the people after them in multitudes into solitudes and deserts, to see signs and miracles which they promised to show by the power of God"
  2. The tyrannical zealots who ruled the city (Jerusalem) suborned many false prophets to declare that aid would be given to the people from heaven. This was done to prevent them from attempting to desert (flee the city), and to inspire confidence in God." Wars VI:5:2:3

B. Eusebius records false prophets:

  1. 325AD Eusebius (Regarding Simon, See Acts 8) "After the Lord was taken up into heaven the demons put forth a number of men who claimed to be gods. These not only escape being persecuted by you, but were actually the objects of worship - for example Simon, a Samaritan from the village called Gittho, who in Claudius Caesar's time, thanks to the art of the demons who possessed him, worked wonders of magic, and in your imperial city of Rome was regarded as a god, and like a god was honoured by you with a statue in the River Tiber between the two bridges. It bears this inscription in Latin, SIMONI DEO SANCTO. Almost all Samaritans, and a few from other nations too, ackowledge him as their principle god, and worship him." (p. 86)
  2. 325AD Eusebius (Regarding Theudas see Acts 5:36) "When Fadus was procurator of Judea, an imposter called Theudas persuaded a vast crowd to take their belongings and follow him to the River Jordan; for he claimed to be a prophet, and promised to divide the river by his command and provide them with an easy crossing. A great many people were deceived by this talk. Fadus however did not allow them to enjoy their folly, but sent a troop of calvary against them. These attacked them without warning, killed many, and took many alive, capturing Theudas himself, whose head they cut off and conveyed to Jerusalem." (pp.84-85)
  3. 325AD Eusebius (Regarding the Egyptian of Acts 21:38) "A greater blow than this was inflicted on the Jews by the Egyptian false prophet. Arriving in the country this man, a fraud who posed as a seer, collected about 30,000 dupes, led them round by the wild country to the Mount of Olives, and from there was ready to force an entry into Jerusalem, overwhelm the Roman garrison, and seize supreme power, with his fellow-raiders as bodyguards. But Felix anticipated his attempt by meeting him with the Roman heavy infantry, the whole population rallying to the defense, so that when the clash occurred the Egyptian fled with a handful of men and most of his followers were killed or captured." (pp. 96-97) ... "These works, that were done by the robbers, filled the city with all sorts of impiety. And now these impostors and deceivers persuaded the multitude to follow them into the wilderness, and pretended that they would exhibit manifest wonders and signs, that should be performed by the providence of God. And many that were prevailed on by them suffered the punishments of their folly; for Felix brought them back, and then punished them. Moreover, there came out of Egypt about this time to Jerusalem one that said he was a prophet, and advised the multitude of the common people to go along with him to the Mount of Olives, as it was called, which lay over against the city, and at the distance of five furlongs. He said further, that he would show them from hence how, at his command, the walls of Jerusalem would fall down; and he promised them that he would procure them an entrance into the city through those walls, when they were fallen down. Now when Felix was informed of these things, he ordered his soldiers to take their weapons, and came against them with a great number of horsemen and footmen from Jerusalem, and attacked the Egyptian and the people that were with him. He also slew four hundred of them, and took two hundred alive. But the Egyptian himself escaped out of the fight, but did not appear any more. And again the robbers stirred up the people to make war with the Romans, and said they ought not to obey them at all; and when any persons would not comply with them, they set fire to their villages, and plundered them. (Book XX, Chapter VIII, Section 6)

B. Irenaeus records false prophets:

II. Wars, famines, earthquakes

A. Wars and rumors of wars:

  1. Ceasars Nero, Galba, Otho, and Vitellius suffered violent deaths, in only 18 months
  2. Josephus said in Antiquities 18:5:3, that Bardanes, and after him Volageses declared war against the Jews. (war) He also says that Vitellius, governor of Syria, declared war against Aretas, king of Arabia, but the death of Tiberius prevented war. (rumors)

B. Earthquakes:

  1. Historians record 5: Crete 46AD, Rome 51AD, Apamaia 53AD, Laodicea 60AD, Campania 62AD
  2. Bible mentions 2 earthquakes in Jerusalem : Mt 27:51; 28:2; Acts 16:26
  3. CLICK HERE: Scientific proof earthquakes have not increased in the last 100 years!

C. Famines:

  1. Historians record: 30,000 died in Rome alone during one famine
  2. Bible mentions in Acts 11:27 a great famine during reign of Claudius in (41-54 AD)

D. Do we need to look for a modern day fulfillment when 70AD already fits?

III. Men will be delivered up, persecuted and betrayed

A. There Is A Three Fold Progression:

  1. Jesus will suffer and be rejected by this generation first: Lk 17:25
  2. Pharisees will deliver up Christians: Mt 23:34-36
  3. Christians will even betray Christians: Mt 10:34-39 + Lk 17:33; Jn 15:20-21

B. Three Waves of Persecution Upon Christians:

  1. The first wave of persecution occurred in Palestine at the hands of the Jews.
  2. The second came at the instigation of Jewish leaders in the diaspora and unhappy pagans.
  3. third wave began in 64 AD under Nero, who blamed Christians for the burning of Rome.


1.      The signs of Mt 24:4-12 were given to the desciples of Jesus to know when to flee the city of Jerusalem when Titus surrounded the army, just like Lk 21:20 says.

2.      To apply these signs to the second coming is heresy because Jesus said there are no signs for the second coming.


Steve Rudd

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